COVID-19 AND HAIR LOSS?

In coronavirus pandemic, expect the unexpected.

Temporary hair loss is normal after a fever or illness

Fever is a symptom of COVID-19. Few months after high fever or recovery from an illness, many people notice hair loss. It’s not hair loss, it’s actually hair shedding telogen effluvium . It happens when more than normal hairs enter the shedding (telogen) phase of the hair cycle at the same time. A fever or illness can force hairs into the shedding phase.

People notice hair shedding 2-3 months after a fever or illness. Handfuls of hair come out while showering or brushing hair.  Hair shedding can last 6-9 months before it stops. Hairs start to look normal again and shedding stops.

Telogen effluvium can cause noticeable hair shedding. In case of a rash, itchy scalp, or burning, see a dermatologist.

Stress can cause temporary hair shedding

Even if you didn’t have a fever or COVID-19, you may get hair shedding. Emotional stress can cause more hairs than normal to enter the shedding phase. Everyone is feeling more stressed and anxious during the pandemic. Hair shedding begins 2-3 months after the stress. Hair falling out in clumps can add to the stress. De-stressing will stop the excessive hair shedding.

Hair shedding due to a fever, illness, or stress, tends to normalize on its own. Most will get normal hair fullness within 6-9 months.

If something other than telogen effluvium is causing hair-loss, a dermatologist can help confirm the diagnosis.

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